NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Matt Ryan, Panthers


  • Bucs HC Bruce Arians feels good about linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul playing Sunday. He also spoke about Pierre-Paul returning from his torn labrum: “He looked good. It’s not going to go away. But the rest helped him.” (Rick Stroud)


Falcons QB Matt Ryan said during a recent interview that he wants to remain in Atlanta with the team that originally selected him third overall.

“I want to be here, and I believe in this team and our coaching staff, I think, did a great job,” Ryan said, via Michael Rothstein of ESPN. “I really feel fortunate to have been here as long as I have. I am optimistic, I really am, and I want to be here and I feel good about this group of guys, this coaching staff, everybody, and the direction that it’s going.”


Panthers’ GM Scott Fitterer spoke in-depth about what the team can do to improve their quarterback play next season, including the possibility that Sam Darnold or Cam Newton could be back next season.

“We definitely need to stabilize the position,” Fitterer said, via “A lot of that’s gonna start upfront, we have to protect the quarterback. The one thing about Sam [Darnold], is Sam’s got a good skill set. So we have to help him. He can’t have guys in his face all the time. So when we go into the year, whether it’s Cam [Newton], whether we go out and trade for a quarterback, whether we draft one—we’re gonna do something at the position at some point here. We’re evaluating that position, but I did have a chance to talk with Cam. And we just told him straightforward, ‘Hey, if we can find a role that fits for us, a role that fits for you and it works out—we’d love to have Cam back. I’ve said this several times to different people. I love the guy. He came into the building every day and had so much energy. He’s got so much charisma and presence to him. He would come in, hard day after a loss, you’d see him down in the cafeteria and he just lifted everybody. So you always have room on a roster for someone like Cam—the special person that he is.”

  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule says that he has not heard any rumors about his job hinging on who he decides to hire as offensive coordinator. (Joe Person)

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